Shannon O Connell
Hi Shannon, It’s great to have the chance to speak with you about your career to date…
Can you take me back to the start and explain how you got into boxing ?
I got in to boxing when I was 20. My grandparents took me down to a local gym where the owner used to race alongside my dad before he died and I soon got hooked. At that point in my life I was starting to make bad decisions so it was perfect timing and I’m definitely one of those cases
What sort of a diet do you follow when preparing for a fight ?
When I’m in camp I try and just fuel my body fir what I’m doing. I do most of my training early in the day so I have carbs for breakfast and my bigger meal for lunch and just try stick to protein and a light dinner.
I know you have had a tough childhood, can you tell me about your upbringing ?
When I was 2 years old my dad died in a speedway accident. My mum turned to drugs (heroin) to cope with her grief so I grew up from a very young age around that scene. We had all types of people coming in and out of our house and we moved a lot. My mum didn’t really take drugs as a party scene, it was more to take away the pain so she wasn’t often sober and attempted suicide more than once when I was young.
You’re a mother to three kids, what do they think of Mammy boxing for a living ?
I have 3 kids now, a 16 year old boy Cooper, 14 year old girl Taylor and a 3 year old boy Felix. My son (Cooper) has been my rock through a lot of my career and I remember when I was pregnant with Felix he begged me not to retire saying that he would do home schooling so that he could look after the baby while I train lol. My kids have been around if their entire life so I guess they don’t know any different but I would like to think that I’m teaching them that if you want something bad enough in life that hard work will get you there.
Where did the nickname “shotgun” come from ?
My amateur coach gave me the name Shotgun. He was watching from home while I was fighting at the world championships in 2010 and you couldn’t see the fight just the scores changing and he just came up with it at the time and it stuck since then.
What are your views on social media, is it a help or hindrance ?
Social media has definitely been a good thing for boxing and sport in general to get athletes of all levels recognised for what they’re doing.
You have called out fellow Australian Ebanie “Blonde Bomber” Bridges, do you think this fight will happen and if so when and where ?
Yes, the fight with Ebanie Bridges for her IBF World title will be happening only next month. Exact details on location and date are still being negotiated but the fight is happening which is awesome news.
Away from training, how do you like to relax and get away from things ?
Away from boxing I really love spending quality time with my kids and giving them the life experiences and fun times that I never had as a child.
Lastly Shannon, with surname like O Connell, is there any Irish blood in the family ?
Hahaha the Irish question I get that a lot. My dad was born in England and I believe that his great grandfather was Irish. The name Shannon is Irish too but funnily enough my mum just always liked the name.
Thank you so much for taking the time out to chat with me Shannon, I really appreciate it, all the very best next month….